If you spend any time on horse websites, blogs, or social media I’m sure you’ve seen an advertisement for grooming gloves. The popular brand is the Hands-On glove, and there are about a million different knock off brands on Amazon.com. A few months ago I purchased a knock off brand and shortly afterwards a fellow boarder purchased the name-brand Hands-On gloves. There was a pretty decent difference in price and not quite as big a difference in quality, more on that later.
First, grooming gloves versus curry combs/jelly curries/grooming mitts.
My grooming gloves are HANDS DOWN (pun intended) my favorite tool in my grooming box. They are my first choice for currying for a variety of reasons. Number One: I can get in nooks and crannies that other curries and mitts can’t get to, at least not comfortably for Harley. Number Two: There are different “levels” of knobs and spikes on the gloves in different places, allowing me to adjust which part of my hand is providing the most pressure to different parts of the horse’s body thus ensuring the horse’s comfort during grooming (really important for thoroughbreds and sensitive horses!). Number Three: They keep my hands clean even on the muddiest of days!! Anyone who has ever worked around horses or a farm for a while can attest to how dry and irritated your hands can become after repeated exposure to water, mud, and dust. This may not seem like a big deal, but as a rider with a horse who LOVES mud, it makes a big difference in my comfort level at the end of the day.
Second, Hands On versus knock offs.
I bought gloves that were marketed towards dog owners and I don’t have any complaints. The Hands-On gloves, while look like they are amazing in quality, were just out of my price range. While time will tell whether the Hands-On gloves hold up better than my cheap knock offs, I can tell you that for the few months I’ve had mine, I have only run into a few quality-related issues. My gloves were roughly a third of the price of the Hands-On gloves at the time of purchase and I am already experiencing some internal seam issues and stretching of the material. Neither problem is severe enough to affect the usefulness of the glove, but it may in the future so it’s something I keep an eye on. I haven’t ever used the gloves to give my horses a bath, so I do have concerns that the stretching would be worse if I used them while wet. My friend with the Hands-On gloves has not had any of these issues in a similar amount of time and use.
Bottom Line: Grooming Gloves are AWESOME!! I highly recommend finding a pair if you can find room for them in your budget. If long-lasting quality is a major priority then go for the Hands-On brand, however if penny-pinching is more your thing, then feel free to try a knock off. Bear in mind that quality varies drastically between brands, especially on Amazon, so while I had luck in my purchase, you may not have the same experience even if you ordered from the same seller I did. Hands-On is so far the only grooming glove company, geared with horses in mind, which offers consistent quality.